Talkstory with Rio Waida on Corona Bali Protected Men’s CT #3 Keramas, Bali

It is that time of the year again, WCT event in Keramas, Bali.

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WCT stands for “World Championship Tour”. It is the World’s highest level circuit, held among 32 selected top surfers. In order to enter WCT, you must compete in WQS (World Qualifying Series), which is another circuit that leads to WCT. Professional surfers try earn as much points as they can in the WQS circuit and by the end of the year, they must rank in the top 10 to enter the elite circuit; WCT. Myself and all the other surfers around the world compete in WQS to get a ticket to WCT.

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Surfing is a sport that deals with nature and it is very difficult for a surfer to rank in the WCT top 10, regardless of how good they are at surfing because it requires not only the ability to surf but also luck. Surfers from the globe dream of competing in WCT one day that despite how difficult the path may be, they continue to work hard. Yes, WCT is what all surfers admire, and it is my biggest dream as well.

Just like last year, the third event for WCT was held in Bali on May 13th at Keramas. To my surprise, I was given a chance to compete in this special event. The event set up a local Wild Card for Indonesians, which meant that if I got good results in the required events, I would be able to compete in Bali Corona Protected even if I was not ranked top 10 in the WQS ranking. The requirement for the Wild card was to win in the contest in Australia. There were many amazing surfers that competed in the contest, including Oney Anwar and no one knew who was going to get the Wild Card.

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Thankfully, I was able to get the local Wild Card on the day before Corona Bali Protected. It was a dream come true for me. I was excited, but at the same time, I had this feeling of tension that I had never felt. It always occurs to me that luck comes suddenly without notice. Although I am always working hard to be prepared to compete in such big contests, the tension I got from it was unusual and exciting.

If somebody asked me if was 100% ready for Corona Bali Protected, regarding my injury from the last contest in Krui, I may have not been, however, with the opportunity I was given, I had to do my best and my mind was set to compete.

It was definitely a special moment for me to surf at my favorite home point with the surfers I had always admired and what was more, all the supporters in Bali were cheering me up.
On the day of the contest, Keramas seemed different and special than the usual days I surfed there. Waves were small, however, clean and solid ones were breaking from the peak.

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First Heat

I caught a wave and I was able to ride through it until the end with some tricks.
Gabriel Medina who is a two-time world champion was in the same heat as me, but I was able to win against him and I finished first place in my first heat.
I also won the second heat and got to the third heat.

Third Heat

The condition was rough where the tide was dropping and the waves were small. I was able to make an air-reverse and got a high score for that however, I could not get a good one on my second wave and I lost the heat. ( the two best waves of each surfer is counted, giving them a score on 20).

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I finished 17th place in Corona Bali Protected, and to be honest, I wanted to reach higher and to compete with the elite surfers.

Although I could not get a result that I wanted, I gained so much from this event. My will has grown stronger after Corona Bali Protected and I appreciate that I got the opportunity to compete in one of the WCT events.

Once again, Thank you so much for all the support.

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By the way, Kanoa Igarashi won the Corona Bali Protected, who became the first Japanese surfer to win a WCT event. Congratulations Kanoa!!

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Bali Kura-Kura Guide

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